tv [untitled] March 1, 2013 9:00am-9:30am PST
public may never go to that addendum and never really get the thrust of it, so it strikes me that what the library is now proposing to do is what i would recommend that every public body ought to do is put in verbatim, the written brief summary and interestingly enough when you look at the statute, the statute says, that minutes shall include a brief summary of public comment in the next almost the next sentence says, the speaker may submit a brief summary not exceeding 150 words. as i read it says, instead of the secretary summarizing what was being said, that put in the exact wording that the speaker took the time and effort to
make a written statement that he or she wanted in the record. so, that i think going forward, certainly from my point of view, if the library were to retreat from this policy of putting the exact verbatim, 150, or whatever the number not-to-exceed but the speaker's written statement that is handed in, putting it in where the speaker appeared in the minutes, put it in, i think that as they go to some other policy, they clearly are willfully violating at least as i read the sunshine ordinance. but i don't find that their conduct in the past in view of the city attorney's opinion constituted willfulness conduct.
>> commissioner liu? >> i concur with both commissioner studley and commissioner renne on the conclusion. i also did appreciate mr. chavey's historical perspective on this issue. because you know, i have only been on the commission for two years. and i did appreciate knowing what the history of it was. but, at the same time, i think that it also highlights that the ordinance itself is a little bit ambiguous and so i think that there has been confusing interpretations of it. and on top of all of that, the city attorney good government guide issued one interpretation and obviously the task force found another interpretation. and so, because of the ambiguity there, i would find no willful violation by the library commission because
there was no clear path throughout the years as illustrated by all of the comments that we have heard from the public tonight. but i do appreciate the library commission's efforts now going forward and the library commission's commitment and its representation here tonight that going forward, it would incorporate the speakers summary in the body of the minutes to alleviate this frustration that we have been hearing from the public. >> anything else to add from the commissioners? >> i concur. >> i think that it has been said. is there a motion to find no violation of the sunshine ordinance? no willful violation of the sunshine ordinance with respect to the agenda item 3a? >> so moved. >> second. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> aye.
>> may i have two minutes? >> opposed? >> hearing, none? >> the motion passes. >> you had many minutes. >> it is the chair's discretion, i would like two minutes to answer the comments of the commission? >> it seems to me commissioner's studley opinion that the city attorney can read whatever he wants into this law. >> mr. hartz please. >> but the task force cannot. why is that way? >> the next item on the agenda is 3 b, eth thicks complaint number 1 5-111205 regarding aan action by george wooding and for this item the respondent is phil ginsburg. >> both the complainant and the respondent present? >> complainant? okay. >> mr. wooding.
you have up to ten minutes. >> may i shut this? >> yes. >> good evening president hur and commissioners. thank you for listens my name is george wooding. i will start by saying this hearing would have been completely unnecessary had the recreation and parks secretary gong simply reviewed the back up or it or contacted the department of technology and had them review rpd records when they were sunshine requested. within days of sunshine ordinance task force ordering her to do so.
my recollection is that they finally provided the e-mails which rpd had previously claimed she had been deleted. i would like to read what miss gong sent, 141 days after my request. >> dear mr. wooding. attached are the documents in response to mr. wooding's request for records. the records were not withheld, they were deleted by staff, before mr. wooding's request was made. the staff received hundreds of e-mails a day and are not able to... all of them. the records to the city department of technology from back up tapes. best regards olive gong. >> olive was asked twice for the it records and she did not review the records. as mr. shaw mentioned on the good government guide on page
89, mr. herrera likens it files to something that should be found in a dumpster. basically my case, i will make this more illustrated. this is the case about how the recreation and park department a public-city run agency directed by phil ginsberg has tried to hide the abuse by deleting all records by the sabotage of a public forum at the common wealth club by changing the title, the panelists and the title of the meeting. the rpd was unhappy that the citizens with different points of view in the rpd's official policy were going to speak at the common wealth club. the topic was to discuss what was called the golden gate park
under siege. commercializing, and in particular, they were trying to build a artificial turf soccer field at the beach shalet. >> i think that miss ballard working on behalf of mr. ginsber wrote a letter to curtis and asked him to change the meeting. she says, basically, she goes on and asks, she tell us and says that the allegations as stated in mr. baoel's april 25th e-mail to you today i hope that this collar ... clarifies i will send you a copy. i want to read to you who the panel is for, here quickly, one
was former director of spur, he was to be the moderator. i think that you may know him. and another one hartwig a published author on the historic preservation and she has a phd under the national trust of historic places with 370,000 members. katherine howard is an urban landscape architect and asla and a former chair of the environmental committee. and the golden gate park preservation. and michael wyans is the director and counselor for the golden gate auto bann society and myself i run several neighborhood groups and i was there to basically give the neighborhood response. and this was, this was the group who was going to be
speaking on the fifth of may. it goes on to say, basically, did an investigation on us. because it is the recreation parks' letters and then to satisfied that the panel is well qualified and collectively they do not present a general bias that we can detect. so, any how, they at that point, on april 25th, we were acceptable as a group. what transpired in the next couple of days, common wealth club started receiving calls and talking about the panel being biased. and so, any how, this just goes on. and ginsberg and buel were able to start changing this meeting,
they changed the title, they changed the panel by adding mark beul and they changed the content and they were clearly unhappy with this meeting and decided to unofficially add him as a speaker and so it was became a much different meeting and how they did it is they sent letters and they pretty much abused panel members by saying things behind our back, saying that we were inadequate, we were abusive, we were biased and we could not hold the meeting, all of this so what happens that works? the common wealth club basically caved in and what happened is i was up... i received a bunch of documents from the common wealth club. and then i did a sunshine request to olive gong and asked
her in the same documents, she said, those documents don't exist. and i had them. so i requested to her process, she would go through these and let me know what each department said and if they had any of these e-mails and she went back and he said, no, we don't have any of these e-mails. so, it came down to, we were basically although i had all of the records and i had the letters, and the recreation park was telling me that they had nothing. so, i want to go to where basically what was going on here. the rpd wanted to protect the city field foundation, a
private enterprise that installs artificial chair upon the city's playing fields and did not want conflicting points to be made. the response of the city's field foundation are working with the rpd to pave over the beach soccer fields and i replaced in the natural grass with synthetic grass. and fearful that it will upset, them, buel and ballard and hersh who runs the city field's foundation tried to either cancel or alter us. this is what was said. after the calls ballard said that the panelists were likely to insight the audience, we are not able to discuss the issues, the panel is for deeply bias
had no issues of discussing facts. we are surprised that the common wealth club name would be attached to something that was so clearly hyperbolic. mark buel in a common well, coo greg dalton, i find it deflammatory. i would like to urge the commission to alter the title of the event to issues facing the park and ask the club to have a representative of the rpd be on the panel. buel was then subsequently added. >> city fields foundation lobbyist susan hersh wrote to provent (inaudible) i want to follow up on the phone message that i called you about the upcoming common wealth with the
golden gate park. and to discuss this project and i am going to cut to point. the point is this was a public agency, going after a group of citizens. and then later, deleting all of the e-mails like mad. although they had these e-mails, on their it. they would not provide this, and i read mr. saint croix and he clearly favors phil in this and i think that this is a bigger issue than just going through 62.735. this is about what agencies are doing to people in the city. and how they are treating people. >> thank you, mr. gooding.
>> i'm phil gins berg and i am going to be brief and ask the commission to adopt the findings of the staff and dismiss the complaint. we have submitted a letter that was prepared in conjunction with the city material and signed by olivegong and the custodian of records. on february 15th, our rationale in essentially, there has been no violation of 67-21, 26, or 67.27. in the charges. i would start by saying that our department has a tremendous amount of respect for our city sunshine laws and is very committed to transparent
government. and last year, encountered your 2012 we responded to the sunshine requested and developed two fte's time to serve as the role as custodian of records and making sure that the records get done to produce sunshine requests in this particular case there were no documents and i know that the charges are have been separated under the regulations and some under title three and title two so i will focus on the e-mails, i think that in his frequenttation he set the examples of three e-mails and one was sent by a private sit ten hersh to the common wealth club and one by miss ballard and mr. beul to representatives asking us to be represented on the panel.
and either the subsequent mr. wooding's perceptions of what our true motives were to be in perception, but at the end of the day, there was a public discussion about golden gate park and we asked for representation on the panel. the charges that are directly focused on me, i think, that there wasen ean e-mail on which i was carbon copied on and i deleted it and i will get well over 300 e-mails a day and based on the department's record retention policy, that is not a record that in my view at least at the time was either essential or required in any sort of serious departmental action, this was an outside entity that was again hosting a panel and again, the e-mail said mr. wooding sites were again, in an effort to actually have a department representative and present what we felt to be a balanced view
of a public policy issue. >> it was nothing that was required departmental action. it was not anything that was either the essential record or a legal record. and mr. wooding's sunshine request i believe came in on june third and on june 6th i responded to the custodian of records and i did not have any e-mails and i went forward from there. push >> thank you, mr. ginsber g. >> if you will stay we have some questions after the public comment, thank you. >> >> mr. gooding? you have time for rebuttal.
>> thank you. having the ability to delete the e-mails in a quick fashion does not make one moral or upstanding or a good manager of an agency. i still look at the bigger picture of what was happening and what they were trying to do. the lobbyists in particular. this whole thing was about saving a field and limiting citizens who could talk about that in a big public forum. it is very limited. 99 percent of the information that comes from or comes out on the rec and park will come from rec and park and you get very little citizens input or forums. i think i'm going to just read what johnson said. >> according to hope johnson, the president saw the rpd e-mails that should have been retained in a business and
professional like manner under a record policy and the rec and park needed to take responsibility for that action and also stated that i believe that this is or this case demonstrates the need for the mayor, ethics commission and the district attorney to enforce the sunshine ordinance in such deeper and simply adhering to an ordinance is much deeper than adhering to an ordinance. rec and park's lack of compliance was also hiding the city and employee commissioner attempts to sabotage the public lands. they were signing the non-public e-mails with the public titles to sway them to bias a forum arranged by members of the public and this is hope was the president of soft at the time that she wrote this. so mr. ginsberg whatever he gets off the hook he gets off the hook.
but he was clearly comp lisit he either helped to plan it orchestrate it he may very well get 300 e-mails a day and only five from mark and i bet that he reads every one of them. so i think that when or what they were doing is they were working as a unit, ballard is the subordinate of ginsberg and acting at his request. it was pretty clear that this was done as a group effort. so, thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. gooding. >> wooding, i'm so sorry. >> ginsberg and wooding and i very much apologize for that. >> public comment on this matter? >> i am here on my own time.
isn't it curious that mr. ginsberg is being disengenius with you and first he is saying in the testimony there were no documents and then he changes his mind and says that there is no essential records. then, when he reports to that he told miss gong that he did not have e-mails what he should have said to her was i have already deleted them because that may have said a lot. that little alarm bell, and the secretary's head she should have turned immediately to back up tapes to retrieve the documents that he had deleted and failed to tell miss gong that he had deleted. >> the cold 34090.
that unless otherwise provided by lawsuit and only with the approval of a resolution by a legislative body and the written content of the city attorney heads of city departments may not destroy city records after a document is no longer required. 249 b does not authorize destruction of records left two years old. further, 340-90.7 provides that only duplicates of the city records less than two years old may be destroyed if no longer required. this body, this ethics commission has an ethical duty, to notify dennis that he must rewrite his good government guide. that uses the analogous city-owned dumpster that the city employees don't have to go climbing into to find deleted records. that is ridiculous. under 340.90.
>> gong never said at the outset that the records had been deleted they never told mr. wooding that his records had been deleted that did not come up until right at the end of the sotf process that he was finally told that they were, in fact, deleted. and had he been told that earlier he could have asked earlier that back up tapes be searched. mr. saint crox's to dismiss, that is hue in fact what miss gong should have done is referred mr. wooding to the department of technology and information services which is a city agency which must bypass mr. saint croix's awareness. >> she should have referred
george to dtis, the second thing... >> mr. >> that she did not do... >> thank you, your three minutes is up. >> the private public partnership that she had an obligation. >> the private entities >> we have a lot of speakers today. >> sometimes... good evening i am a greg miller and a resident of san francisco for 30 years and i am not an expert on the sunshine law and so please bear with me if some of my comments seem general. i wanted to point out one thing, mr. gingsberg asked for the city to be included in this meeting, but one of the first letters called on april 20th which he signs on the director
of public affairs here is the san francisco rpd basically says that this is a deeply bias panel with no interest in discussing facts i am hopeful that you will cancel the panel and put on a more balanced approach. i mean that here we have basically using the official title, the city employee highly paid up in the department, basically requesting a private club that puts on a lot of controversial presentation to scotch this one. and that is the pattern here. the underlying pattern is the number of city officials, paid employees as well as city commissioners basically went out of their way to use their official titles, and approach a private entity in discourage a public meeting on public affairs. and they did it by basically saying, these people are
unqualified, these people are bias, these people will insight the public, this is totally inappropriate, please do not have this meeting. that to me, as just an individual as a citizen is deeply disturbing. our country is based on the principle of public being able to get together to discuss issues. we may not always agree with each other, that is fine. but the point is that we have to have the faith that our government is not going to turn on us and do everything in their power and their prestige to try to prevent people from speaking all that it will do ultimately is deeply under mine our faith, and our desire to work with our own government which is our government. all of our government. so that is why this is very important and i ask you to consider very seriously, that they said these records were
not there because everybody had deleted them. >> whatever the case is, these records should not have been deleted they pertain to the basic import rights and interest of the public. and these people were involved in basically saying these people should not have a right to speak in public and meet in public and that i find deeply disturbing as a citizen, as a member of this society. thank you very much for your time. >> good afternoon, again commissioners, dr. derek kurr. mr. ginsberg mentioned something about 300 e-mails a day. but, some of those are just junk e-mails and there are going to be inquiries about what time the park opens or the swimming pool closes. and we know